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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/25/2010

Lots of stuff since my last post, which is a Good Thing, I reckon.

Colleen had barely arrived at Tanglewood this morning when a big truck came rumbling up behind her carrying the windows for the tower! As some might recall, we've had problems with these windows when we discovered shortly after delivery that the openings had been mis-measured, resulting in windows that were very impressive, but which wouldn't fit. These windows on the other hand are the real thing--properly sized and looking very snazzy. The crew went to work quickly hauling them up onto the upper deck and from there onto the tower deck (from which Colleen kept hoping nobody would fall off). Once on the deck, they installed them from the inside (much safer), quickly nailing them down in anticipation of the stucco work moving to the tower level (which they'd been avoiding because of the missing windows). They made fairly quick work all things considered, which was impressive considering how heavy they are. Both Colleen and I are delighted that we won't have infiltration of rain from the tower openings any more, and I'm very sure that the supplier is very happy to finally have these off their "to do" list! 

Lots of the larger plumbing fixtures arrived today--the pressure tank, the propane boiler (which will drive both the radiant heating and the domestic-hot-water systems), and the hot-water tank. I had selected a larger (86-gallon) pressure tank to help smooth out the well pump loading and it looks like a fine, sturdy unit. The boiler is upsized from what I  had selected originally--I had been looking at a Crown 120,000 BTU unit, but the plumbers convinced me that I'd be happier with a Prestige 150,000 BTU unit instead. They've used those on most of their well-water installations and people have apparently loved them, and the comparative reviews are favorable, so that's a plus. The hot-water tank itself is a brand I'm not familiar with, but it looks capable enough, and at 100 gallons capacity, I'm not too worried about running out of hot water in the middle of anything. Most of the plumbers spent most of their time hooking all this up to the piping they'd run in previously, while one guy continued piecing together the gas line for the propane supply. 

The other "big" thing that happened was the rest of the ICF walls going in. For a couple of months now, we've  had two huge openings from the main garage into the apartment and the main house, and while this was useful for carrying larger and awkward materials, it wasn't right. More to the immediate point, these huge openings were messing up the plumbers and the electrical guys, since they couldn't finish running their various lines without having a wall in place to tack their stuff to. So Largo's crew (the same guys who did the main stacking over the winter) came up today to quickly assemble and stack the new ICF. They did some drilling into the existing walls to tie in the rebar for the new wall sections, and stacked and foamed their way to the ceiling. I understand there was some trimming that had to be done at the top, since it would be tricky to properly fit everything together up there, but they got it done and put in a lot of scabs to handle the concrete pour when it happens (not sure when that is scheduled) and they were done in a couple of hours.

Of course the opening for the main door from the garage into the house was installed at the same time... very nice, glad to see it. Feels weird to not have this huge opening now, though.

The rest of the day was miscellaneous stuff. The framers continued framing out the dropped ceilings, occasionally touching base with the plumbers and electricians about what was needed where. The stucco guys continued to put on the base coat for the stone work. The roofing guys put another layer of waterproofing stuff (this time it's some kind of rubber membrane) onto the deck. It was all goodly.

One other note--the bear was back again last night nosing around for food. We've gotten onto the crews about leaving food scraps and trash around, so I think he probably didn't find much, but they never forget where they scored food once before and will continue to check out sites for a couple of years after the fact--they're very smart that way. Since the ground was slightly muddy (we'd had a light drizzle just after midnight) there were lots of good prints, and Colleen took several shots of them. She plans to bring up some plaster of Paris tomorrow and take some casts.

Very very good day of progress! Tanglewood looks more like a house every day!

Steven in Colorado Springs


Nice shot of the house early in the morning.
Shot of the living room. LOVE that new window!
Another framing package was delivered today too. This should be the last one.
Looking up at the tower before the new windows arrived.
Waiting for the new windows to get brought up. Not sure how this guy got out of lifting the things--lucky dude!
Bringing up the tower windows.
Levering the windows up onto the tower deck. Dropping it or falling off would be Bad.
The tower shorn of its protective tarps, waiting for its windows.
Looking at the windows from the second floor. Can't really see much from here, though.
Tower picture window looking out into the forest. Wow!
Very, very nice. This is going to be a GREAT place to work from.
The pressure tank! This is going into the apartment utility room since that's closer to the well.
The boiler! This was smaller than I thought it would be; very nice.
The main house utility room. You can see the new boiler on the wall to the left, and the big hot-water tank in the corner on the right.
Another layer of waterproof membrane goes onto the deck.
Closeup of the membrane work. Very clean work, I must say.
Building the ICF wall leading to the main house. Nice!
The door is framed out.
The apartment side wall.
The house-side wall is done and the door is framed out. Lots of plywood scabs to reinforce for the concrete pour. Very bright sunlight coming in on the far side.
The apartment side wall. Weird not being able to walk through there now.
Drop ceiling work in the apartment is nearly done.
Bear print!
The bear slipped here a bit.
This print is a bit harder to see--the soil was drier in this spot.
The main house electrical box (where the line comes in from the solar PV) also got installed today. Very clean.

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